To acquire correctly cooked meat, we need to know when it is done and thus when to turn off the oven or stove. And having a particular cooking thermometer makes things a lot easier. But what happens if we don’t?

How can you tell when the chicken is done? And when should you stop frying it? How can you avoid having either an over-fried or underfired piece of chicken?

Today, you’ll learn a few cooking secrets that will help you cook like a pro! Furthermore, we will tell you how long to fry chicken so the meat is moist, tender, and crispy on the exterior.

Stay with us; it’s going to be delicious!

How do you tell if fried chicken is done using a thermometer?

In general, there are a few methods we may employ to ensure that our chicken is thoroughly cooked and ready to eat. You can use a meat thermometer or one of the more time-consuming and labor-intensive methods.

Examine the juices, for example, or the color of your food. If you’re wondering how to tell when fried chicken is done, you can calculate how long it spent in a frying pan to see if it’s correctly cooked.

Of course, the quickest and easiest way to determine whether your poultry is already cooked and properly prepared is to use a special meat thermometer. This useful instrument will make it simple to determine fried chicken’s temperature.

All you have to do is put it in the bird and wait for the results!

As you may be aware, the ideal temperature for frying chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit, 75 degrees Celsius, or more. To acquire the most accurate temperature, place the thermometer right into the thigh, under the huge thigh bone where the drumstick and thigh connect.

If the temperature in the friend chicken has already hit  165 degrees Fahrenheit, 75 Celsius degrees, the rest of the bird is almost certainly done!

By the way, if you’re cooking an entire bird, this method works extremely well.

But what if you don’t cook meat very often, or if you don’t have a meat thermometer at home and can’t run out and get one right now?

In such a case, you can use one of the different methods of determining whether your chicken is ready.

However, we strongly advise you to purchase that thermometer! It’s not expensive, and it doesn’t take up much space in your kitchen drawer, but the benefit it provides is undeniably substantial for cooking!

How do you tell if fried chicken is done without using a thermometer

brown cookies in white container

Of course, using a meat thermometer is the simplest and quickest way to check the temperature of your fried chicken. Alternative approaches usually take a little longer and need a little more effort.

So, if using a meat thermometer isn’t an option for you, feel free to try one of the following methods:

1. Check to see if the juices are clear

Check the color of your chicken meat to verify it has been cooked long enough.

And now we’ll go over each of these options in further depth.

Juices must be free of impurities.

So let us begin with the meaty fluids. This is one of the simplest no-thermometer methods for determining whether your chicken is fully done.

To determine its condition in this manner, pierce the meat. Yes, it’s that easy! And after the liquid starts leaking from the bird, you must determine what color it is.

If it’s clear, there’s a strong likelihood the chicken is already cooked.

Because this method requires no special instruments or abilities, it is frequently used in place of using a thermometer.

2. Consider the chicken’s color

We must warn you before you decide to employ this strategy. To begin with, to verify the color of the chicken, you will have to chop it.

And, let’s be honest, if you’re cooking the bird for a party or making a roast, a cut piece of meat will not look beautiful on the table.

Second, there is a complex point about the meat color that not everyone considers when cooking chicken. Generally, when the bird is thoroughly cooked, its meat turns white all the way through.

Nonetheless, it may still be pink around the bone in some circumstances, but this does not imply that your chicken is undercooked!

That’s exactly what it is. Things aren’t so straightforward when it comes to poultry.

If the chicken meat remains pinkish on the bone, it simply means that the chicken did not achieve the temperature of 165 degrees when the blood on the bone is cooked, resulting in white meat.

In this situation, your chicken is still safe to eat; it’s just the color of its meat, which may appear somewhat under-fried.

3. Cooking time is critical!

Checking the cooking time of your chicken meat is another way to see if it is already cooked. To be more specific, the trick is to keep the fried-chicken-done temperature at 165 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Celsius for a set amount of time.

You may wonder why we are going to do this. As you are probably aware, chicken flesh must be properly and thoroughly cooked for all bacteria to be destroyed.

To accomplish this, the meat must be kept warm for an extended period.

This is why it is normal practice to heat the chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, 75 Celsius, and maintain it at that temperature for around five minutes. It will allow the heat to eliminate the hazardous germs, rendering your food safe to eat.

So you’ve learned a few handy strategies for determining whether your chicken is fully fried. Of course, there are some nuances to consider (for example, the fact that the meat can still be pink on the bone), but in general, with these guidelines, the frying chicken will be a breeze from now on!

How can you tell if fried chicken is cooked correctly?

fried chicken on white tray

If you don’t prepare chicken often enough, determining whether it’s done or not, and if so, how well it’s cooked, may be difficult.

However, we can guarantee you that nothing is as complicated as it appears.

So you’ve chosen to deep-fry some chicken. You prepped it for the cooking procedure, and it is now frying in a pan.

But how can you tell if fried chicken is done simply by looking at it?

The most popular and effective way is to examine the color of the flesh. The chicken you’re frying should be a rich golden brown color. At the same time, it’s crispy.

This is why, when frying, it is usually advisable to turn it over now and then and not to cook for more than fifteen minutes. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sliver of coal in your frying pan!

If you’re frying the whole bird, there’s another way to tell whether it’s done. Simply move one of its legs (or, better yet, both!) That may appear and sound strange, but when the chicken is thoroughly fried, its legs will begin to move more freely in their joints.

How much time does it take to fry chicken?

Most of us come across fried chicken cooking times when it comes to preparing chicken. You understand how important it is not to overcook it! If you leave your chicken in the pan for too long, it will become overly dry, resembling wood splinters rather than food.

Underfried meat, on the other hand, will not taste very delicious. Furthermore, undercooked chicken might be harmful to your health.

So, how do you find the location of the ideal golden mean? Simply remember the following frying guidelines:

Wings should be fried for no more than ten minutes.

Fry the thighs, legs, and breasts for 12 minutes, turning every 1-2 minutes to ensure they are thoroughly fried.

Also, remember that chicken meat occasionally remains somewhat pink around the bone. It does not imply that it is harmful to consume! It simply means that your chicken did not reach the required temperature for the blood to be cooked on the bone.

Is it possible for a chicken to be a touch pink?

According to the USDA, all portions of the chicken are safe to eat as long as they have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°. Color does not imply completion.

The USDA says that even completely cooked chicken might have a reddish hue in the meat and fluids.

Why isn’t my fried chicken crisp?

What is the most delectable component of fried chicken? Yes, it has a crispy crust! But, as you’ve surely noticed, we can’t always achieve that crispness, no matter how hard we try. What could be the reason behind this?

Most of the time, our fried chicken is too dense or oily, lacking that beautiful crispy crust, just because we don’t heat it enough.

If we fry the meat at too low a temperature, the chicken will become leaden. And, of course, there is no crust!

Another factor that contributes to no-crust fried chicken is paper towels. To be more specific, we use them to wipe the extra fat from our freshly cooked poultry!

Never do this if you want to enjoy the crispness of the chicken since blotting it with paper towels creates steam. The steam and moisture it produces, in turn, will destroy the crispness of the meat’s surface.

But how can we get rid of the surplus oil while keeping the crust? Simply place your fried chicken on a wire cooling rack to cool! Place some paper towels below and wait for the extra fat to drip down on them.

Not only will you detect when your chicken is thoroughly cooked, but you will also be able to prevent some of the more typical blunders that lead to a poorly fried dish.

With the advice we provided, you will be able to effortlessly fry your chicken with a crispy crust on top, as well as determine how long it needs to be properly fried or boiled.

7 Common Fried Chicken Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

fried chicken

Now that we know, how do you tell if fried chicken is done? We want to provide some common mistakes you need to avoid.

These frequent blunders will destroy your fried chicken, from omitting the brine to using the wrong oil. To make the crunchiest, juiciest bird ever, avoid them.

1. Using only the drumsticks

A fried drumstick is iconic, but you can cook the entire bird, including the breast. (In reality, this is one of the most brilliant ways to make the most of the breast, which pales compared to the delectable legs and thighs.)

Slicing huge chicken breasts into pieces to cook them faster. Make sure to separate the thighs from the drumsticks before you begin.

2. Deep-Frying frozen chicken

Stop! Don’t start breading that chicken right out of the fridge; frying it immediately will cause the temperature of the oil to drop and your chicken to cook unevenly (plus, you can forget about crispy skin).

Allow the meat to come to room temperature for 30 minutes instead. You may now proceed!

3. Leaving out the brine

Who has time to make a brine?

If you want to keep that bird moist, you have time for a brine. While we won’t require a brine (we’re not micromanagers, after all), we do advocate soaking in seasoned buttermilk for at least 4 hours, and up to 24.

This recipe is a definite keeper, in our opinion (winner, chicken dinner). You can use buttermilk instead of water in the breading procedure (see step 4 below), and that’s fine. However, if you have a few spare hours, it won’t hurt.

4. Cutting out the breading and becoming low-carb

Do not omit the breading; we repeat, do not omit the breading. That gives each mouthful a crispy-crunchy texture and keeps the meat juicy. 

For successful breeding, the following steps should be followed: semi-optional brine (see above), flour, beaten egg and/or buttermilk, and more flour. 

The second step, the egg/buttermilk mixture, is critical because it allows for an equal layer of breading that cooks evenly. You can add texture and crunch by combining a little cornmeal with the second application of flour. 

Also crucial: Because you won’t be applying salt and pepper directly on the exposed meat, season every step of the process. If desired, season the flour with cayenne pepper or the egg/buttermilk with Tabasco. 

Why use flour both before and after the liquid dip? 

It provides something for the egg and buttermilk to stick to. And don’t brush off excess flour when you get to the last step. Instead, put on a lot of weight.

That’s what gives you that wonderful, craggy crust.

4. Splurging on a deep fryer

Don’t squander your money on a clumsy, difficult-to-clean fryer. All you need is a heavy-bottomed cast-iron pan or Dutch oven. Cast iron absorbs heat better and maintains the desired temperature longer.

5. Using a low smoke point oil

Although extra-virgin olive oil is delicious, it should not be used on fried chicken. It’s not only a waste of money given the amount you’ll use, but it’ll result in a bitter-tasting bird due to its low smoke point.

Choose a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. And don’t leave things to chance: Track and maintain the temperature of the oil with a thermometer—you’re aiming for a consistent 350 degrees.

6. Taking a temperature by feel

Use tongs to flip the chicken a couple of times to ensure equal browning, and then if it looks done, it must be done, right? Wrong. Too-hot oil will result in a black surface while the inside remains raw. Gross.

Use a meat thermometer (not the one you’re using for the oil!) to solve this problem. Don’t be scared to split the chicken’s crust to check the internal temperature; it should be 165 degrees. 

Undercooked chicken is more preferable to a cracked crust. Allow 15–18 minutes for the entire process, keeping in mind that white meat cooks faster than dark meat.

Crowding the skillet with chicken reduces the temperature of the oil, lengthens the cooking time, and makes the breading oily.

7. Cooling the chicken on paper towels

Paper towels absorb excess fat, but they are not your friend in this situation. Letting anything that’s been fried rest on a paper towel will make it mushy because it will begin to steam.

Don’t lose concentration at the last minute after all that hard work you put into making your chicken crispy. 

Instead, lay a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain your chicken. They’ll instantly chill, crisp, and dry.

While you wait for the chicken to rest, have some patience (or another beer). Allow 10 minutes; the crust may seem cool to the touch, but eating it too soon will produce searing-hot meat. 

Believe us when we say that the ideal first bite is worth the wait. If you want to eat your fried chicken cold, let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge and inviting us over.


What happens if you eat fried chicken that is slightly undercooked?

Because raw meat might contain bacteria that cause food poisoning, eating undercooked pork or poultry may result in food poisoning.

If you have symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, or fever after eating undercooked meat, seek medical attention right away.

Why is the inside of my fried chicken raw after I cooked them?

The temperature is too high. There are numerous things that can go wrong during the chicken frying process.

If the heat is too high, the outside will be scorched, and the inside will be undercooked. To adequately fry chicken, a temperature of 350 degrees F is required.

How long do you cook the chicken on each side?

Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes per side. More crucially, the interior temperature should be close to 180°F.

(Be sure to check the temperature of the shortening every few minutes.) Place the chicken on a rack over a sheet pan to drain.

How long does it take to deep-fried chicken?

It should be a rich golden brown color. Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes, regularly flipping, until the pieces are crispy and brown.

Cut into the thickest section of a drumstick to check for doneness. The juices should be transparent, and the meat should be opaque all the way through.

How long does it take to deep-fry chicken?

It needs to cook for 15 minutes.

Is it true that fried chicken floats when it’s done?

Yes. To test for doneness, use a thermometer to heat the oil to the proper temperature.

When frying solid items like chicken breasts or thighs, use a fork or skewer to allow the hot oil to penetrate the flesh. When the chicken is done, it floats.